Whether you’ve adopted a dog from a shelter with an unknown history, or have had your pooch from puppyhood, it seems that one common concern for pet guardians is to ensure a friendly, nonaggressive dog.
Here are some tips to curb aggressive dog behavior.
Start young with your puppy to establish your dominance. Most dogs will happily settle into a subordinate pack position, but if yours always seems to push the limits, try these tactics to curb aggressive dog behavior:
1. Don’t let the dog sleep in your bedroom.
A dominant dog may become overly protective while his owners are sleeping. Keep him out of the bedroom to prevent dangerous situations for other family members. Don’t allow him onto the bed or onto any furniture. Furniture that increases his height will also increase a sense of dominance.
2. Lead the pack.
When you’re entering the house or walking down the hallway, you must go first and have him follow. You can do this with a leash. Ask him to stay as you pass through and prevent his attempts to go first. (If your dog is leashed, you can stop his forward motion simply by standing still. Don’t use jerk-and-choke maneuvers.) Becoming the leader goes a long way in to curb aggressive dog behavior.
3. To Curb Aggressive Dog Behavior, Become the alpha dog.
When you watch groups of canines, you can see that some dogs are dominant over others. You can try to replicate their behavior to show dominance over your own dog. For example, always eat and finish your own meal before you feed him.
Don’t lie down on the floor in front of him. Take care not to be overly aggressive in your mannerisms, as this can create a survival mode in a dominant dog, which can lead to aggression.
Not all dogs are dominance seekers. If your dog is happily submissive, these tactics should not be necessary. Puppies may sometimes play too aggressively. As a responsible owner, you need to stop this behavior immediately. Aggression is a very serious behavioral issue and can grow into a potentially dangerous situation for owners who are not experienced in training problem dogs.
4. Respond like another puppy.
If your pup bites too hard, yelp in a high-pitched voice and pretend to be hurt.
5. Use time-outs.
Your dog loves being with you, so a five-minute separation can be really effective in curbing aggressive tendencies When he becomes too rowdy, get up and walk away.
6. Create a distraction.
Dogs hate agitating noises, so the next time he’s overly combative, rattle a shake can (an empty soda can with a few coins inside with the lid taped shut) to give his behavior a negative, impersonal consequence.
7. Never hit your dog.
It does more harm than good and can make him so afraid of being hit that he bites whenever he feels threatened.
8. Take him to school.
Obedience classes will expose your dog to other pets and people and give you more help in establishing your authority. Puppy preschools are available for puppies as young as eight weeks. Before enrolling, discuss your dog’s history with the class instructor for everyone’s safety.
9. Remove temptation.
Some dogs are very protective of their bones or chews. In this situation, it’s best not to give these items at all.
10. Wear out your dog.
Take him on a daily jog, or participate in a dog daycare program to provide an outlet for that extra energy.
With these 10 not-so-common-sense tips, you will have a better more well-behaved dog. As with any type of dog training, it is imperative that each member of your family follow each of these rules.
By Jamie Michael
Want to learn a few tips to prevent an aggressive dog all together? Go read this article now!